Friday, February 21

prime’s Guide to Zero Week: DIY dorm decor for $10 or less

Whether you’re in a dorm or an apartment, your living space can always use some sprucing up. Here are two do-it-yourself guides to help brighten up even the darkest corner of your home. While shelves are a functional way to show off tchotchkes, they’re also great for adding a little of bit of green into your life. Below, you’ll find prime’s guides to decorating shelves and potting easy-to-care-for succulents.

Successful shelving



Two square shelves

Two bottles of paint (choose whichever colors you like, one for the outside and one for the inside)

Paintbrushes of various sizes

A cup of water

Printed paper



Newspaper (to protect your furniture from paint)

Optional: Choose between pushpins, nails or wall adhesive strips to mount the shelves.


Step 1: Squeeze some paint onto a palette of your choosing.

Step 2: Paint three sides of the outside of your shelves one color, then let them dry with the unpainted side on the newspaper.

Step 3: Once all the painted sides are dry, paint the single unpainted side. Allow it to dry.

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 for a second coat.

Step 5: Squeeze your second paint color onto the newspaper.

Step 6: Paint the inside of the shelves and let them dry. Repeat for a second coat.

Step 7: Take a small paintbrush and clean up the edges, making sure that the paint colors stay separate.

Step 8 (optional): Lay your dry shelves on a piece of printed paper, and cut a piece the same size as the back of your shelves. Tape the paper to the back of the shelves.

Step 9: Hang your new shelves on the wall. Ta-da!

Tips: All of the supplies for this DIY can be found at Michaels arts and crafts stores and cost a total of $10. The closest Michaels location to campus can be found at the corner of Beloit Avenue and West Olympic Boulevard.

A little bit of greenery:


One small clay planter

One small clay plate for the planter’s base

One small succulent plant or cactus

Potting soil

One bottle of paint

An assortment of paintbrushes

A cup of water

Newspaper (to protect your furniture from paint)

Step 1: Put paint on the palette of your choosing.

Step 2: Paint the clay planter any color. Make sure to paint both the inside and the outside. Repeat as many times as necessary in order to get a thick, even coat.

Step 3: Paint the clay plate to match.

Step 4: Leave the planter and plate to dry.

Step 5: Once dry, fill the planter about halfway with potting soil.

Step 6: Place the small succulent or cactus into the planter, and break up its soil slightly, mixing it in with the already loose soil.

Step 7: Add more soil, until the space around the plant is full.

Step 8: Water regularly but not too often, as these types of plants require minimal attention.

Tips: The total cost for this project is $8. The planter, plate, plant and soil can all be found at local nurseries. There are several on Sawtelle Boulevard, near Westwood. The paint supplies can be found at Michaels.

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